United Kingdom

US firms put £4.4bn into UK tech...in five months

US investors have already poured more money into UK tech firms this year than in the whole of 2020. 

American venture capital firms have invested £4.4billion into sapling UK companies in the first five months of 2021 – up from £3.5billion last year. 

The funds are on the hunt for start-up companies that could grow into the next Apple or Google. They have invested £11.9billion across Europe so far this year. In 2020, they ploughed £7.4billion into European tech firms. 

Forward thinking: The funds are on the hunt for start-up companies that could grow into the next Apple or Google

Last year, the UK produced seven tech 'unicorns' – companies with a valuation of more than $1billion (£710million). These included used-car dealer Cazoo, fitness retailer Gymshark and sustainable energy supplier Octopus Energy. 

Remus Brett, partner at UK venture capital firm LocalGlobe, said the sector still had plenty of room for growth. 

'I don't see any slowdown for tech,' he said. 'In many industries, we're at an early stage of what we are going to see in terms of tech disruption. Travel and retail have been heavily disrupted already, but there are many others where the journey is just getting started.' 

Tech firms employ nearly three million people in Britain, with employment levels growing at more than 10 per cent a year. In April 2021, there were 3,400 vacancies for web designers – compared to 2,094 at the same point in 2020. 

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